There is no way to reconcile these two immediate faces of America to millions of people across the world; the military and the Peace Corps will always serve their own distinctly different purposes and for many reasons it is better that it remain this way.
Let's cleanse Washington of all those interventionists who can't wait until we get our hands bitten in Syria in another futile pursuit of nation-building. Enough voices are being heard these days, thank goodness, that are questioning Obama's decision to provide "soft" support for the Syrian rebels.
The Obama administration should say "yes" to the European Union's (EU's) invitation to do some nation-building here in America while at the same time helping our indispensible ally--Europe--and boosting family incomes.
In the final days of the presidential campaign, President Obama repeatedly assured Americans that it was time to reap a peace dividend as America's wars wind down. Nation-building here at home should, he insisted, be put on the agenda.
President Obama's arrival in Afghanistan and signing of the strategic partnership agreement with President Karzai supposedly represents yet another corner turned in our nearly eleven year (and counting) war.
Given the hierarchical authoritarianism of the Gaddafi government I hope that the NTC will consider working with the civil servants who only worked for his repressive regime because there was no other option.
It will not always unite us as a country, or give us a warm and fuzzy feeling inside the way the hunt for bin Laden did, but maybe we can now turn our attention to the pursuit of domestic nation-building.
Unless the United States is prepared to eternally enforce the conditions of a power-sharing agreement, it should renounce its commitment to spread the legal rights articulated in the Afghan constitution.
The Obama administration needs to modify its "belief about the moral benefit and policy utility of nation-building." You do not have to engage in the grandiose project of nation-building in order to achieve our limited goals.
The Tea Party's real purpose is to prevent change that threatens privileges enjoyed by middle aged, white Republicans, who feel America is under assault by the poor, people of color, gay Americans and immigrants.
There is a disconnect between the prospects of the military surge, which will reach its apogée and then decline starting in mid-2011, and the civilian surge, which would take decades to produce meaningful results.